Origin of Cannabis | CBD

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Scientists know that the use of cannabis is millennia, but it is not known when the plant began to arrive on earth.

Despite this, scientists have tried to answer this question and determine when its possible origin dates.

According to them, cannabis would have appeared 28 million years ago on the Tibetan plateaus some 3 km above sea level.

Once upon the time: cannabis

The appearance of cannabis pollen was first discovered in India and then in Japan. Scientists were then able to date this find between -32,000 and -12,019 years BC.

Researchers around the world agree that cannabis originated in Central Asia, but no one has so far dared to really know where and when.

Scientists at the University of Vermont have put together various archaeological and geological studies revealing the presence of fossilized pollen in the soil in an attempt to define a geographical area and an era.

Cannabis would therefore have appeared 28 million years ago, that is to say between the extinction of the dinosaurs and the appearance of the human species, according to a study published in the journal Vegetation History and Archaeobotany.

This research turned out to be flawed because the pollen in cannabis closely resembles that in hops. The last common ancestor of cannabis and hops dates back to this same period. The two plants then took a different path of evolution.

But scientists were able to tell the difference between the two pollens by analyzing fossilized pollen from surrounding plants to determine if the soil was more suitable for growing hops or cannabis.

Indeed, the two species do not grow in the same habitat: the cannabis plant prefers an open, grassy and treeless environment while the hops rather grows in the forest. Thus, they deduced that cannabis had appeared on the Tibetan Plateau near Lake Qinghai.

According to the researchers, the geological conditions of Tibet would have favored the emergence and the development of the cannabis plant in Asia.

“The Tibetan Plateau was born from the collision between India and Asia so in a sense, we can thank the tectonic plates for creating cannabis” explains John McPartland, director of research.

Did our prehistoric ancestors use cannabis?

Cannabis pollen was also found in the soil of Denisova Cave in Siberia. It was in this cave that Denisova’s Man, a species of the Homo group which predated Homo Sapiens Sapiens, was identified for the first time. It seems that the Denisovas were already using cannabis.

The only problem is that Qinghai Lake is located a few hundred kilometers northwest of the Baishiya Karst Cave, which we know was inhabited by Denisova Man 160,000 years ago. Is it then possible that it was on this occasion that Denisova’s Man discovered the cannabis that grew in the surroundings in the wild?

But for Jean-Jacques Hublin of the Max Planck Institute of Anthropology, the discovery of cannabis does not date from this period. Indeed, he recalls that 160,000 years ago, the region was in the midst of the ice age and that this would have prevented the development of certain vegetation including cannabis.

Anyway, the origins of cannabis probably bore very little resemblance to the one we know today, which is the result of hundreds of years of selection and natural crosses.

Its THC content should also be quite low compared to current varieties, but still less than our French industrial hemp.

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